Hella Bus Blog
- Marriage Equality
- Tuition Equity
- Voter Access
- He is a founding board member of Creative Commons
- He may be stodgy looking, but most of his insights into the way we use technology are spot on.
- Founded Stanford's esteemed Internet and Society Program.
- He wrote the excellent Remix and the even better Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It (a book that helped inspire the Occupy Wall Street Movement).
- He has a subtle wit.
- There was a character in the West Wing based on him. Boom.
A big thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to doorbell for Ben Lawver in the 29th district on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to the hard work of nearly 50 volunteers the campaign managed to knock on approximately 1,500 doors throughout the 29th district, which extends south of Tacoma through Spanaway.
"This was the best day of our campaign so far," reported an enthusiastic Ben Lawver. "And we've had a lot of good days in the past."
Big Love In the 29th.
Volunteers circulated throughout the neighborhood to remind residents to vote in the August 7th primary. The 29th district typically has low turnout, and Lawver hopes to change that.
"People should encourage everyone to send in their ballots," said Lawver.
The weather couldn't have been nicer; after an afternoon of doorbelling I'm sporting a considerably noticeable campaign shirt-shaped farmer's tan.
With 8 days left until the primary election next Tuesday, Lawver's not letting up.
Does anyone remember the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony? The one with armies of small children and copious fireworks? Me too, it was nuts. Anyhoo, the 2012 Bus Fellows Inauguration at the South Lake Union Discovery Center was exactly like that. Except instead of having 2008 individual drummers conducting an elaborate light show (nixed at the last minute), we went the more Bus route - good people, good music, and an awesome slanty roof. Thanks to the 150-some folks who kicked off summer in sumptuous style with the Bus Fellows to be. Behold!
The Escher-esque slanty roof.
|A special message from Board Presidents Mary Cadera and Randy Engstrom...|
Bus Friends and Allies,
We’re writing today to share some very exciting news.
As Board Presidents of the Washington Bus and the Washington Bus Education Fund, we are thrilled to announce Toby Crittenden as the next Executive Director of the Washington Bus.
Toby, the Bus's current Program Director, will take over from Thomas Goldstein, who has led the Bus since its inception in 2007. Toby will begin to shift into his new role immediately, working side-by-side with Thomas through the month of April to ensure a seamless transition.
“It’s an honor to be selected as the next Executive Director of the most fun and exciting political organization in Washington. The Bus is stronger than ever, and I’m excited to build on the great accomplishments of our first five years,” says Toby.
Toby got on board in the fall of 2007 when the Bus was as much an idea as a reality. He went on to develop and launch many of our most iconic programs, from Bus Trips, to Trick or Vote, to Candidate Survivor. Toby has overseen a doubling in staff over the past year and has built the internal systems that have made Bus programs so effective and, dare we say, inspiring.
“I am thrilled by Toby Crittenden's selection as the next Executive Director of the Bus. To know Toby is to know the Bus. He is a mature and natural leader, a quick study and a patient teacher,” says Thomas. “The Bus thrives at the intersection of art, politics, music, and civic engagement. Toby navigates those avenues effortlessly.”
The Bus Boards of Directors, staff, and community stakeholders engaged in a rigorous transition process that began in the fall with over 100 personal meetings with close friends and allies to develop the criteria for a successful Bus leader.
We received applications from highly qualified candidates from a myriad of backgrounds that reflected the diverse constituencies engaged in our work. A committee featuring Board, staff, and community partners conducted over 20 hours of candidate interviews to determine the outstanding finalists.
The Board was integrally involved in designing the search process and selecting a candidate. We are fully invested in supporting Toby as the new leader of the Bus, and ensuring a smooth transition for staff and the organization as a whole.
The Bus has amassed a tremendous set of accomplishments in five short years. We owe our success to our friends and supporters, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you through this exciting transition.
Stay tuned – we will be announcing public events in May to introduce Toby in his new role. If you’re interested in reaching out to Toby or other members of the Bus’s leadership, we would be delighted to hear from you.
And have no fear – the Bus will return to our regularly scheduled punning (or the “pundamentals”) next week.
With excitement for the future,
Mary Cadera and Randy Engstrom, Board Presidents of the Washington Bus and the Washington Bus Education Fund
Well, hello there! Zach Duffy and Seth Dawson here – your trusty Hella Bus guest posters. We’re here today to talk to you about the Washington State Voting Rights Act. As student-researchers in the State of the State for Washington Latinos, a long-running initiative at Whitman College, we looked into why measures to restore Washington State’s democracy might be necessary.
What is the Washington State Voting Rights Act?
This bill, hotly contended in the State Legislature, brings the federal Voting Rights Act down to the state level. It allows protected classes of voters – people of a race, ethnic, or language minority group – to challenge local electoral systems when it can be proven that such systems present insurmountable barriers to the election of minority groups’ preferred candidates. The typical solution would be a switch to neighborhood elections.
I don’t understand what that last paragraph meant at all. Can you explain it again?
Sure. 99% of local elections in Washington State are conducted at-large, meaning that positions are elected citywide rather than by neighborhood. In a city council election, for instance, a voter is able to vote for each and every city council position.
What’s wrong with this picture? Imagine if the entire state was allowed to vote in each election for state legislator. The people of King County would, in all likelihood, determine the outcome of every election in Eastern Washington. We’d have a lot more legislators that liked indie rock and fancy cappuccinos on this side of the Cascades. Sounds pretty good! But it’s not democratic, because it prevents minority voices from being represented. The same is true when we conduct our local elections at-large. The Washington State Voting Rights Act is one measure that legislators have proposed to correct this problem.
Do local elections in Washington State accurately represent local communities?
Absolutely not. Only 4% of elected officials in Eastern Washington are Latino, even though Latinos make up well over 50% of the population in Adams and Franklin counties. The same underrepresentation occurs in Western Washington for other people of color. And our research shows that this has been a problem for at least thirty years. From 1983-2011, Latinos won less than 6% of all city council and school district elections.
We’d love to tell you more about this issue, but we know that a blog post can only be so long before you start wishing we had made a video where we explain the issue while drinking a ton of liquor (A Shot of Oly, here we come!) For more information, check out www.walatinos.org.
Today is the crowning moment in the battle for marriage equality in Washington. House and Senate hearings on marriage equality set the stage for Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen's announcement that she (D-10) has decided to vote for marriage equality - giving the measure the final vote it needs to pass!
Anita Yandle, repping the Young Democrats, testifies in favor of Equality.
Good news everybody, it's time to buckle up for the roller coaster ride of intrigue, mystery, and general political craziness that will be 2012.
That means we're jumping right back into our favorite monthly volunteer party, Welcome Wagon!
Welcome Wagon is your chance to smell what the Bus is cooking for a huge 2012. Want to get on the Bus and looking for that first step? Welcome Wagon! Experienced Bus expert, and want to get the awesomeness that is 2012 started off right? Welcome. Wagon.
Marriage Equality. Voter access. Tuition equity. Bus.
It's going to be a hell of a year, let's kick it off in style. Dinner and drinks provided. RSVP right here. See you there!
Ah yes, and contact abigail[at]washingtonbus[dot]org with any questions!
2012 Welcome Wagon
January 18th, 6-8pm
Bus HQ (1100 E. Union St.)
All ages, free!
The Washington Bus Media and Policy Winter Internship Application
(Click here for PDF Version) Washington Bus Media and Policy Interns build the most original, irreverent, and powerful online voice for young people in Washington State. Media interns research and report for the blog Hella Bus, creating written and multimedia projects that reach vast networks of young Washingtonians, community leaders, and top level policymakers.
Anyone who has spent much time around a Washington State Legislative Session (and really, who hasn’t?) knows that it’s exceedingly difficult to find regular updates on what’s going on in the capitol. At a time when public engagement should be at its peak, it can often be harder than ever to get involved! Washington Bus Media and Policy Interns aim to change that.
During the Winter program, interns will dig in to the complex and fast-paced Washington State legislative process translating policy developments and breaking news into thoughtful, accessible, and witty communications. Through videos, graphics, and consistent written coverage, Winter Media and Policy Interns will give young people an avenue to be informed and engaged with the political processes that directly affect them. Interns will shed light on many of the Bus’s key issues including Marriage Equality, Tuition Equity, and Voter Access Bills that will be introduced in the 2012 Legislative Session.
Interns may specialize in writing and research, graphic design, or video production. College credit available for students currently enrolled. Modest stipends available.
The internship will include:
• Weekly written blog posts.
• Research and bill tracking on the Bus’s major policy priorities.
• Supporting Bus events related to Olympia, including direct advocacy in the capital, meeting with legislators, and making phone calls.
• Several afternoon trips to Olympia to connect with legislators, lobby groups, community activists, and others involved with the legislative process to bring a broad array of perspectives into the public eye.
• Coordinate with Managing Editor to set weekly and internship-long goals.
• Contribute regular blog posts and videos in accordance with the Hella Bus style
• Weekly tracking updates on selected bills.
• Participate in weekly writers meetings to pitch stories and set publication schedule. • Attend monthly leadership development meetings.
• Collaborate with fellow Media Interns on short and long-term Hella Bus projects,
ranging from written to video to graphic design.
• Become the most hilarious, insightful, and innovative communicator in the state of
• Politics and policy, although comprehensive knowledge is by no means a must.
• Collaborating with a diverse and youthful team, aka your peers.
• Issues relevant to young people in Washington State, including policy, campaigns, arts and culture, and many, many more. In fact, you know what? You tell us.
• Independent self-starter with a good sense of humor.
The Washington Bus Media and Policy Internship is based in Seattle – interns must be present at all required meetings and trainings. The Winter program will run from January 11 to March 15 with the possibility of an extension through the spring and summer.
The internship requires a 15-hour weekly time commitment with minimum five hours in the office including staff meetings (if this is a challenge for you, explain in the application, and we can evaluate together).
As a Media Intern, your focus will be on the Bus’s communications work, but you will have many opportunities to participate in Bus events across the board, including music festivals, Bus events, and foosball.
Please answer the following questions in a separate document, and email them to mediainternship[at]washingtonbus[dot]org in pdf format. In addition, please submit a resume and two examples of your work, whether in written, video, graphic, or other form. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a final deadline of January 4, 2011.
Tell us about yourself in no more than two paragraphs. If you could change one thing about today’s media climate, what would it be?
Tell us about one bill you would like to see introduced during Washington State’s 2012 Legislative Session.
What are the three most interesting articles you’ve read recently (you don’t have to impress us, it’s an honest question)
Please write a brief (200 words or less) sample blog post on one of the following three issues in the context of the 2012 Legislative Session (you choose the angle, there’s no wrong answer):
Questions? Email alex[at]washingtonbus[dot]org for more information.
The Washington Bus is an inclusive organization, fostering & drawing on leadership from communities of color, recent immigrant communities, and emerging young voter demographics.
Which do you choose?
Huge thank you to the League of Women Voters of King County! It's an honor to be selected for their prestigious "Making Democracy Work" award for 2011!
Techy-Activist-Academic-SuperGeek Lawrence "Larry" Lessig is coming to town this Saturday and you all should go. His talk is titled "The Corruption of Congress," and paints a picture of our legislature that's considerably more nuanced and complex then you might expect with something of that name, if just as troubling. He's smart, forward thinking, and is the rare academic that offers solutions as frequently as he laments problems.
Here are some facts about Larry:
It's at Town Hall Seattle (1119 8th Ave.), it runs from 5-6:30pm this Saturday the 22nd, tickets are $5 and you can snag them here.
To warm up your inner geekness, watch Larry's TED talk on copyright law, remixing, and how the two might be reconciled:
There are good days, great days, and the days we treasure most of all - new Hella Bus writer days! You, loyal readers, are in luck. Extend a digital hello to the newest member of the Hella Bus team, Elliot Helmbrecht!
I grew up in Hutchinson, Minnesota, a little town in the central part of the state. Okay, I know what you’re thinking right now. And the answer is no. I don’t talk like I’m an extra in the movie Fargo, but I do enjoy an old-fashioned hotdish and Garrison Keillor. After I graduated from high school I moved to Seattle to attend college at the University of Washington. I majored in Political Science after two years of taking classes in what seemed like almost every department that the school offered. While at the UW, I got an introduction to state politics working in the Office of Government Relations for the Associated Students. This is where you would typically see a quote equating the process of making sausage and legislation, but my experience in this position left me wanting more. It was a great opportunity to see how policies were created and negotiated. It was also a powerful lesson in learning how hard work and community involvement can really have a positive effect on the legislators in Olympia. I would eventually like to go back to school, but before I take on that endeavor (and more pesky student loans), I’ve been enjoying this thing called the “real world” that I always heard so much about.
Let’s get started!
Feist, purveyor of sweet tunes and ecstatic music videos, has woven another album full of dreamy, night-time-under-the-stars jams that are now streaming on the internet for the price of your email address. Behold the widget (my favorite internet word) that will teleport you to Feist-land:
If you haven't already RSVP'd for our September 24th Bus Trip for Linda Barnfather, this is the time.
If you haven't already sent us the names of your friends that will be alongside you, please do!
All we've got is good news: There are just a couple seats left on the Bus so claim them quick! We'll be meeting at the Bus HQ (1100 E. Union) at 9am sharp for some delicious bagels (let us know your favorite flavor). From there we set sail to Port Angeles, meet up with Linda and the Clallam crew, remind voters about why Linda is the best choice, and then - you guessed it - party!
Imagine yourself at around 6:30pm this Saturday: flush with the warm glow of democracy, enjoying dinner on the ferry ride home at sunset with new friends at your side. Yes, it's that good.
The weather gods (you may know them as "the internet") project it to be 74° and sunny with a chance of rainbow in Port Angeles. Get yourself RSVP'd with your bagel of choice and we'll see you on Saturday!
Last week, the Washington State Redistricting Commissioners released their plans to re-draw WA's congressional districts. Amidst all the process and colorful maps, the redistricting process will have a profound effect on who represents us down the road. A coalition of state-wide leaders, under the moniker of United for Fair Representation, have been advocating for the creation of a "majority-minority" district where the majority of residents would be people of color. This structural change would help ensure that people of color had greater representation in state-wide policy. And good news, 3 of the 4 initial plans released include the majority-minority district!
You may be asking yourself, how does all this funny line drawing work? What have been the historical effects? How can I make sure that the commission charged with drawing the lines is held accountable? Then (gerry)meander to Washington Hall (153 14th Ave. in the CD) tomorrow to watch the excellent film Gerrymandering and hear from redistricting experts about how to make a difference today.